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JSTOR helps people discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY Volume VI MARCH, I9OI numbers THE ORGANIC THEORY OF SOCIETY. PASSING OF THE CONTRACT THEORY. The organic theory of society is entertained by nearly every serious thinker of the present time. Everyone seems ready to declare, although often with some reservations, that society is an organism ; in other words, that man and nature are one, and so, among many other things, that no device or institution of human life is free from conditions of change. Indeed, not merely in political science, but in the thought of our time at large, the word "organism" is getting to be used as a key to all the mysteries. Simply, a new fetichism is in possession of us, but the forerunner perhaps of a thoroughly enlightened wor- ship ; and, in consequence, we have a stern, exacting duty to the thought which underlies it. Politically, we feel the need of knowing, as directly and as accurately as possible, just what the organic theory of society implies, what conditions and relations and activities, what natural or developed interests, it involves society in. Not, Is society an organism? — for that is a ques- tion that looks only to some mere analogy — but as more direct and as deeper, What is an organic society ? Several approaches to this question are open. Thus it would be pertinent, not to say intensely interesting, to make a psycho- logical — or sociological — study of an organic society, dealing specifically with the nature of the social will and the social con- sciousness ; or to take the standpoint, not of psychology or 577 578 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY sociology, but of biology, so given nowadays to the doctrines of evolution ; or, again, to confine the attention to industrial organization; or, finally, to examine Christianity and religious experience generally from the standpoint of the organic theory; but no one of these approaches to the question in hand is now intended. What I propose is a historical study — historical, too, in the narrower sense, in the sense chiefly of man's development under law and government. 1 The organic theory, with reference to its legal implications, has been supplanting and fulfilling the famous theory of the social contract, the theory of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, peculiar to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but sur- viving far into the nineteenth, if not into the twentieth. The importance of this contract theory has been very great, and conspicuously in our own history. The minds, for example, of those who wrote and who ratified our American constitution were thoroughly imbued with it, and it has shaped many of our political actions since, the great controversies about state rights, as well as about individual rights, often being inspired by it, and the constantly recurring idolatry of the constitution being also referable to it. In our proposed historical study, then, the contract theory is a natural starting-point. We have first to see exactly what it was, and then to consider how its inner logic, by dint of the conditions and distinctions that were necessary to it and that it brought to consciousness, has led inevitably, although perhaps for a time unwittingly, to the organic theory; and, in the end, if the great practical movements of our political evolution do not come to mind as effective illustrations, if our study of the rise of the organic theory with the passing of the contract theory does not bring some light to bear even upon the central problems of political life today, then, in part at least — yes, in large part — our study will have been a failure. As regards the names of the two theories, it is worth remark- ing, in passing, that they are not exactly coordinate, referring, *In a recent book, Philosophy of History (Ann Arbor, 1899), especially chaps, vi-viii, I have examined the conception of an organic society from some of these standpoints, and in an article, " Evolution and Immortality," published in the Monist, April, 1900, from the special standpoint of an interpretation of Christianity. ORGANIC THEORY OF SOCIETY S79 in the case of the earlier, to the origin and support of society, and, in the case of the later, to society's inner nature ; but this difference only indicates how in general at the present time the interest in origins, as well as in destinies, is giving way to the interest in character. Today we are not much disposed to think of anything as actually made or created — as coming suddenly into being. Things simply are, or, if their making is to be con- sidered at all, being evolved, they actually participate in their own making, so that, again, what they are, not when or how they arose, is the living question about them. Briefly and specifically, what I wish to show is : ( I ) that the contract theory, like any theory in history which might be men- tioned, has quite outgrown itself, the contract that makes society proving to be only a political philosopher's name for the funda- mental lawfulness of nature or — as the same thing — for the natural respect of man, a rational being, for law, for law as such ; (2) that through this deepening of the conception of the social contract the organic and thoroughly naturalistic theory has been evolved; and (3) that — particularly in response to the doctrine of equality among men — the result in both theory and practice has been greater unity of man with himself, as in the character of the individual of today; greater unity of man with his fellow, notably in the development of a conscious inter- nationalism ; and greater unity of man with nature in indus- trialism. As given by Thomas Hobbes in 165 1, the social-contract theory assumes, in the first place, that a formal contract, for example the American constitution, creates a social or political unity which has had no existence before the enactment itself. By the enactment or acceptance of the contract a group of sepa- rate individuals, whether already formed political bodies or single persons, is transformed into a unity, that is, a society or state. As Hobbes said, in substance, a condition of absolute individualism and warfare is changed — as if by magic — to a condition of social integrity and peace. But, secondly, this theory includes also the doctrine of "natural rights," of rights as the independent inalienable possessions of individuals, the 580 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY contract consisting in such surrender or adjustment of rights as may be required for harmonious living, or the peace which ensues being that of armed neutrality rather than anything more posi- tive or more genuine. And, thirdly, under the contract theory, if to be taken literally, the social life resulting is bound to be something imposed from without upon the life that is natural, it is supernatural or extranatural, the social self and the individual self being so absolutely apart ; and, in consequence, its enabling compact has a peculiar sanctity, being an end in itself, not a means, and so properly subject neither to breach nor to amend- ment. In short, then, the contract creates society ; the individ- uals entering into society are obliged to get out of themselves, actually surrendering inalienable rights ; and the social life ensu- ing is formal or artificial or external. So runs the contract theory of Thomas Hobbes. Its great worth is in its distinction between the legal man, the man under the law, and the natural man ; its great defect, in that no law in the relations of men is recognized save such as the enacted contract establishes, the natural man being lawless. To distin- guish, however, between the legal and the natural man was to imply also a distinction between the visible sovereign and the sovereignty, only the sovereignty being legally supreme ; and, again, between the government and the state ; but these all-impor- tant distinctions get their proper recognition and transfigura- tion only with the final emergence, which is to be indicated here, of the organic theory from its contract chrysalis. To this final outcome both Locke and Rousseau made valuable contri- butions. Thus Locke, recognizing a contradiction in Hobbes' theory, in the original individualism and warfare, and in the subsequent social unity and peace, secured only through surrender of inalienable rights, refused to think of the contract as actually creating society. For him, indeed, society is original or natural, its component individuals being rational, and so subject to an organizing law that is superior to any enacted contract. The con- tract, then, creates only the government, not society ; being for the latter, not creative, but only mediative, or not constitutive, ORGANIC THEORY OF SOCIETY 58 1 but only definitive. Hobbes, recognizing no social law but posi- tive or enacted law, and so condemning the natural man to a con- dition of sheer lawlessness, could not appreciate this distinction between government and society, or between legality and reason ; but obviously this distinction was a necessary result of his philosophy, particularly of his warfare in a state of nature. It was necessary simply for the following reason. Society — and this means law or unity in human life — is quite as truly a condition as a consequence of warfare among individuals. Moreover, the very motive to contract and social unity cannot arise without some basis in reality, since men must be in a condition of society before they can will its establishment or expression. Locke accordingly, as if realizing this, found reason, that is, respect for law, in natural man, and so denied creation of society to any mere contract. For reasons that need no mention here it often happens that a change of emphasis occurs in the understanding of a theory. The conditions of history make this necessary. Thus, reading the earlier followers of Locke, and in fact reading even Locke himself, one is not unlikely to miss the exact character and the importance of his departure from the standpoint of Hobbes. Necessities of thinking did, indeed, lead Locke to recognize law and society as a condition of the state of nature ; but more practical affairs — the political emergencies of the time at home and abroad — induced an emphasis, in his own statement of his views as well as in the earlier interpretations of them from others, upon the value of positive contract to political organization. So true is this that Locke has again and again been interpreted quite as if it were Hobbes that wrote the Treatises on Government, and doubtless the real author must bear his share of the blame ; but, nevertheless, in his philosophy the reality of law and society in nature is definitely recognized, and with the clearer vision, the better perspective, that time always brings, the value of this to political theory is made apparent. Thus governments, Locke himself contended, are formed in order to secure an impartial, impersonal, objective law and an effective execution of the same ; but also, with little if any reading between his lines, we find that in nature even selfish man has a respect for law ; and we know 582 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY that respect for law, however clouded, is not without impartiality; 1 so that by Locke's own evidence the formation of government is only the better and fuller expression of something already in the natural or wholly primitive life of society. In like manner primitive people pass from such natural implements as stones to tools which are carefully devised, the new devices being inspired only by the nature-implements. What tool is not used in its own making? Government, then — and this even according to Locke, albeit to the Locke of our more modern emphasis — is original or natural, and is involved in its own making. Remem- ber, too, that, in addition to his recognition of law and society in nature, Locke declared that the "state of nature" is not left behind with political organization, but remains with society always, being often exemplified both in domestic affairs and, conspicuously, in international relations ; and that, sometimes in small matters, sometimes in large, complete reversion to it takes place ; and finally, in so many words, that the organizing contract is always amendable. Similarly, the usefulness or effectiveness of devised tools depends on the same force, the same natural power, that has been previously applied through cruder or wholly natural objects. So, again, for Locke the social contract, as was said, is really mediative, not creative ; and even to assert, as above I did allow myself to assert, yielding to the viewpoint of the earlier emphasis, that the contract creates, not society, but only the government, is misleading. Government itself is original, belonging to the " state of nature," because the con- sciousness of law is original. Indeed, government and society are to be distinguished only as the devised and the natural tool, except that society, as under the natural or original government of the law of reason, is commonly called the state. The state, then, to keep up the comparison, is the natural tool ; and the distinction between government and state is in a sense a fickle and elusive one, for it depends, not on two separate things, but on the moving or evolving relation of things that interact or "Compare Adam Smith's doctrine of sympathy, in his Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), that no man ever does or ever can judge another without sympathy, without regard to an "impartial spectator." ORGANIC THEORY OF SOCIETY 583 that are inseparable, and even mutually inclusive. Like the more general life and consciousness of which, in fact, they are but special expressions, they are at once conditions and results of each other. To reword a little what has been said, the consciousness of law, or — as the same thing — the possession of reason, which Locke attributes to man even in the " state of nature," is simply inseparable from the fact of government, since it implies, not only respect for authority, but also embodiment of authority. The consciousness of law can be no mere subjective conceit ; its own reality rests on that of objective necessity, even of so-called physical compulsion. Locke, then, was right enough in his attacks on Sir Robert Filmer's Patriarcha, in so far as Filmer referred all embodied political authority to Adam and the direct line of succession from Adam ; but he failed properly to realize that, according to his own philosophy, the general principle, which Filmer saw only in a special and somewhat artificial case, and which, accordingly, was perverted even to the point of absurdity, is perfectly sound — the principle, namely, that embodiment of authority, of an objective impartial law or rea- son, is natural, being, like reason itself, no mere ensuing result of human experience, but quite as truly an antecedent condition of human experience. But I pass to Rousseau. Rousseau is with Locke in distin- guishing between the government and society or the state, but for the great Genevan the state, not the government, is pro- duced by the real, the original social contract; and yet — again in the light of a more modern emphasis — with the following very significant result : To all intents and purposes the contract is only a formal thing in Rousseau's theory, as if only a useful standpoint or fiction. Similarly monarchy, notably in demo- cratic England, and divine creation as a doctrine of rational theology, and in science the relation of cause and effect, have become only standpoints or fictions, or say — using a somewhat technical term in philosophy — "categories," that is, validating principles, instead of accepted or actually experienced facts. Modern thought has teemed with fictions or validating principles ; 584 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY the survivals of things once held to be quite substantial, but now regarded and used only as formal principles ; and Rous- seau's contract, as I conceive it, is really one of them ; not a positive legal instrument, enacted at some particular time, but the validating principle of all law ; in short, only Rousseau's fictitious way of saying, with Locke, that even in a state of nature man is rational and sanctions law and society. Of course, to make the contract to which society owes its exist- ence only a formal principle was to make existing governments totter. Bluntschli objects to Rousseau's theory, among other reasons, because "history does not afford a single instance in which a state has really been brought about by contract between indi- viduals," 1 and this objection, it may be added, troubled Locke, who must be confessed, in view of his virtually making govern- ment natural or original, to have met it very feebly. 2 Bluntschli's criticism, however, although plausible enough, is not altogether fair, either to Rousseau or to the contract philosophers generally. Rousseau's conception of nature, of the will of all and of the con- tract itself that only makes a people a people, simply turns individuals, society, and positive contract into sheer forms, so that an exemplifying instance in positive history is neither needed nor to be expected. Bluntschli himself admits 3 that the contract theory "obtained a fatal authority at the time of the French Revolution." So it did. The Revolution, however, sprang from the recognition of contract, individual and society as artificial or formal. Hence the cry, "Return to nature!" — to nature, where men are equal and where law or contract is only formal or quasi, capable of any content or substance that a changing experience may present, and so absolute and inviolable only as a principle, being subject to amendment without limit so soon as any specific character, any applied form, is given it. And when in history has a pure principle been positively and purely exem- plified ? A pure principle is invisible ; it is not one of the sepa- rate things of time. 1 Theory of the State, p. 295 (Macmillan, 1895). 3 Treatises of Government, Book II, chap. viii. ' Op. cit., p. 294. ORGANIC THEORY OF SOCIETY 585 Also, as bearing on the same point, it should be remembered that in general the consciousness of Rousseau's time was "phe- nomenalistic" in an unusual degree. This term is perhaps over- technical, but it means that names did not necessarily refer to realities ; that in political science and, of course, also in general literature and in religion, and in all forms of thought, men were actually saying one thing and thinking — or perhaps I should say feeling — another. In short, they were everywhere dealing in fictions. D'Alembert, for example, had his human machines ; Condillac, his animated statue ; Diderot and Buffon and others, their conceptions of like character. They have been said not to have gone back of their consciousness, and truthfully enough, for they could allow themselves to speak only after the analo- gies of things actually manifest ; but they were by no means unaware of their limitations, and Rousseau probably less so than any other among them. They were not blind to their fictions, as if, forsooth, one ever could be serious in arguing to automatism and fatalism from a knowledge of natural law. Knowledge sets free. Accordingly not only did they have a new wine in their old bottles, but also they were drinking it out. Thus, specifi- cally, the social-contract theory was only one effort among many in the protestant movement, the reaction against absolutism ; and, like all first efforts in reaction, it adopted the general standpoint, and so fell into the sin or error of its opponent. It opposed the divine right of kings, but treated the social contract as if it too possessed some peculiar indwelling supernatural power, going even to such an extreme as to arouse and justify the abusive words of Burke : " chaff and rags and paltry blurred shreds of paper about the rights of men;" but nothing can ever be set over against itself without losing substance, without becoming only phenomenalistic and fictitious. Similarly — that is, under the same conditions and with the same result — the extreme mechanicalism was meeting creation with causation. In Hobbes' commonwealth, too, which he defines as " one person of whose acts a great multitude by mutual covenant, one with another, have made themselves, everyone the author, to the end that he may use the strength and means of them all as he shall think 586 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY expedient for their peace and common defense," we see might or " strength" set against itself, for primarily the defense desired by the people is against their own lawlessness ; and, in general, under the contract theory might, the very source and support of absolutism, is used to counteract itself. So is the theory an accurate report of its time. Politically, however, as well as physically, action and reaction, might and its resistance in kind, are equal ; and through their equation law succeeds force in authority, naturalism supplanting absolutism. Law, not might, makes right. And Rousseau's contract, accordingly, whatever his timely way of referring to it, was in reality no magic instrument, but, as said above, his " fictitious way of declaring with Locke that even in a state of nature man is rational and sanctions law and society." * Of course, Rousseau's position, and in greater or less degree also that of Hobbes or Locke, was equivocal even to the point of paradox, but this only adds to its meaning. Thus they advo- cated naturalism supernaturalistically ; they based law on brute force ; they thought of the people as making a law that could not be broken ; they derived an indivisible sovereignty from an unsocial, individualistic humanity. But a fiction is always a paradox also. Simply fiction and paradox are marks of transi- tion and conflict. They show that thought and the life which thought reports are outgrowing accustomed forms, the accus- tomed forms — to use again the trite metaphor — being only old bottles for new wine. Fictions, in the sense of validating prin- ciples, are always " old bottles." The equivocation, moreover, or the duplicity of the contract theory must be the historian's 1 The foregoing discussion seems to me to show the proper way — proper because it is historically as well as logically accurate — in which to meet the principle that " might makes right." Thus, with some repetition, might when asserted does and must induce resistance in kind ; whence, action and reaction being equal, law instead of might makes right, for the equation means conservation and law — witness its import to physics — in whatever sphere it applies to. Or, again, in terms more directly political, might cannot be asserted without some delegation of power ; but delega- tion is always limitation, and delegation and limitation, like action and reaction, are equal, so that absolute monarchy, founded on might, turns as if from its own weight into democracy, founded on a constitution — that is, on law natural to the life of society. The social-contract theory, then, marks the change, the turning. ORGANIC THEORY OF SOCIETY 587 best key to the times from which the theory sprang, for there is nothing like duplicity to make heated controversy. Duplicity has the effect of putting both sides in the right, of making both share in what is right, so that I might venture to say that any historian who wishes to explain a critical conflict in human progress must fail utterly if he cannot detect a shared duplicity, although a duplicity maintained from its different sides, in the positions of the contestants. The history of the United States is a pertinent case, for, as has been said, the contract theory — notably in the form given by Locke — was most influential at the begin- ning and has played an important part ever since. In an illu- minating article, " The Compact Theory and Constitutional Construction," recently contributed by my colleague, Professor Andrew C. McLaughlin, the great controversies of American history are shown to have involved the contract theory, and Pro- fessor McLaughlin is not blind to what I have called the "shared duplicity " of opponents. 1 Calhoun, for example, is shown more than once to have contradicted himself, or to have said one thing and meant another, his defense of state rights by appeal to an indivisible sovereignty being a boomerang of the first power. He claimed for the state only what his opponents were claiming for the federation, and so, in spite of his leaning to the individ- ualism of the contract theory, he was contributing to the devel- opment of the organic, the wholly naturalistic theory which has supplanted, or is supplanting, that of contract. Good history, I repeat, when it deals with conflicts, particularly with great epoch- making conflicts, consists in showing that opponents are double, that is, as much in conflict with themselves as with each other. So, to continue, both Locke and Rousseau, to say no more of their great forerunner Thomas Hobbes, were philosophers of revolution ; Locke by separating the state and the government as end and means respectively, and basing only the government on contract, on an amendable contract ; Rousseau by virtually reducing the contract that makes the state — not the government — to a mere fiction, to a pure principle ; and both by the possi- bilities which they realized for emphasis by later thinkers. And "See American Historical Review, April, 1900. 588 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY to speak further of the difference between Locke's contract and Rousseau's, this seems to me quite parallel to that, which was developing at the same time, between a particular scientific law, always only a working hypothesis, and the validating principle, for example, the law of the uniformity of nature, which nobody — it is worth remarking for the benefit of Bluntschli — ever at any particular time discovered among the things of experience. The sympathy of Kant, the philosopher of validating principles — or "fictions" or "categories" — with Rousseau is well known. The radical character, moreover, of the standpoint of any of them — of Locke, Rousseau, or Kant — can be seen in the fact that naturally, that is, logically, it was contemporary with the develop- ment of the idea — what shall I say? — of a reserved possibility, an immanent potentiality in all things. 1 A science of working hypotheses and only formal principles was witness to a mov- ing experience, that is to say, to an intimacy between knowl- edge and life, and an amendable contract or constitution or a "responsible" government meant social and political evolution. For both Locke and Rousseau, then, as has already been asserted more or less directly, the real state, the state to which man owed his final and unhesitating allegiance, was identical with the fact, the natural and original fact, of society ; in short, with humanity at large. It is true that such early advocates of the naturalistic theory as Burke — formerly mentioned here — and Blackstone were opposed to the contract theory, but for the reasons that have now been given I have to think of them as not less interpreters of the theory than opponents of it. 2 They have ■Compare the vitesse virtuelle of John Bernoulli (1667-1748) in the history of mechanics. Compare also the monadology of Leibnitz (1646-1716) with its ascrip- tion of self-activity to substance. 2 Pollock, in his History of the Science of Politics, chap, v, says of Blackstone : " He distinctly refuses to believe in the ' state of nature ' as a historical fact, and thereby avoids a difficulty which Locke had palliated rather than met by ingenious but weak excuses. ' Society has not its formal beginning from any convention of individuals.' Blackstone treats the family as the unit of society, and reduces the original contract, though he does not abandon the term, to the fact that men hold together in society because they cannot help it." For Blackstone surely the origi- nal social contract which rescued men from a state of nature can be but a legal fiction. ORGANIC THEORY OF SOCIETY 589 helped to interpret it to itself, to turn it over, to uncover the virtual naturalism of it. About the conception of the state as original and natural, instead of artificial or supernatural, the organic theory revolves. For this theory the contract is only mediative or definitive in the fullest sense ; it is not creative. Our present task, then, is to examine carefully the character of its mediation. Accordingly, to begin the examination with a discussion that may seem even irrelevant to those who are disposed to look askance at the excursions of philosophy, the function of the social contract is quite akin to that of language. Indeed, to answer at once the possible charge of irrelevancy, language is distinctly a social institution, perhaps the social institution, and like any social institution it always implies contract even when it does not formally embody it. Implicitly, too, when not explicitly, it embodies authority in the way that makes govern- ment. Language, then, which in days gone by has also been viewed from a creationalistic standpoint — witness the belief in a language-giver, in language as heaven-sent, or the notion that creatures using language are of a peculiar order, being extra- natural, or the doctrine of verbal inspiration, or the superstitions about occult powers in words and phrases — is now very gener- ally regarded only naturalistically ; and this is very materially to change the character of the contract in it. Thus language is no longer the repository of a fixed truth or the seat of any mysterious power ; it is the medium only of a thought that lives in and with the whole life of mankind ; and it is original, being as much a condition as a result of conscious life, and above all mark- ing no distinctions in kind among living creatures. Its mediation, moreover, is threefold : ( 1 ) between the manifold experiences of any individual addicted to its use, one's language always being through the process of association only a focus of one's entire experience; (2) between the experiences of many indi- viduals or groups of individuals, language also always serving as a means of social communication; and (3) between the experi- ences of humanity at large and the life as a whole, in a word, nature itself, to which men belong, language being always 590 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY descriptive, objectively descriptive ; and then, as of greatest importance, it never exercises any one of these special functions without in corresponding degrees exercising both of the others. Undoubtedly, the fullest significance of this conception of lan- guage will be lost to those who forget, even in the face of evo- lution and of the schools for the blind and the mute, and of the supremacy of the natural sciences and laboratory methods in the curricula of our schools, that language and its mediation are coextensive with consciousness. All conscious creatures, low or high, are addicted to what is language essentially. Indeed there is, for modern science — and this is to say also for modern life — a universal language, namely, the common mediating envi- ronment of all living beings. Moreover, this common environ- ment, besides being or because being the universal language, is also the ultimate social contract, the ultimate embodiment of authority, the ultimate government ; and to it anyone who would understand the contract theory must give thoughtful attention. In the years of the decline of Greek civilization, when indi- vidualism and an accompanying cosmopolitanism and naturalism were characteristic attitudes of the people, when there was both hidden and open treachery to the long-standing institutions, political and religious, of Greek life, the contract theory of society — perhaps for the first time — was enunciated, 1 and it must give value to the foregoing reference to language to remember that at the same time among the Greeks language had become, or was becoming, little better than a convention, a form with little or no substance, through which treacherous indi- viduals could keep up the conceit of a social relationship. How ingenious their statesmen, their politicians, were at verbal gym- nastics we know very well, and even puns were arguments with their professional philosophers, the Sophists. In time, too, the very names of the gods were not spared. What, then, more natural than that, as language, which is the most general medium of a social life, became thus formal and empty, a social contract 1 See Plato's Republic, II, 359 (Jowett's translations, third edition, Vol. Ill, p. 38 ; Da vies and Vaughn's translation, p. 41). ORGANIC THEORY OF SOCIETY 591 theory, making society and justice the mere afterthought of individuals, should have found expression ? It is true that there was another side to Greek life, that with the growing for- malism the barriers between Greek and barbarian, as if between civilized man and natural man, were breaking down, and that the Sophists and politicians brought the Socratic philosophers and Alexander with them ; but already we have seen that the con- tract theory also has another side. In many respects, too, as is often recognized by historians, the time of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau was like that of the Sophists and Socrates. A time of transition and revolution ? Yes ; and also a time when lan- guage, not to mention other social institutions, or even not to mention environment at large, was become formal and mechani- cal. Latin was dead, or at least on its death-bed, rapidly losing its hold upon life except as a church ritual or a school discipline ; and, although a new literature, a new poetry, was developing, this had its hard conflict with the mechanical ingenuity and offensive lucidity of Pope in England and the inventions from flourishing schools of poetry in France, method — as is natural for a time of great changes — superseding depth of meaning in importance ; and with this modern emphasis on method, as with the ancient, society was naturally supposed to be due to con- tract, the social relation to be external to individual experiences, mere legality to be an end in itself. Everything was thought to be acquired; a rational education could do anything, even make genius. The literary formalism, however, had its own corrective, for, in the first place, it was applied to the national languages, which superseded Latin, and such application could not but end by making the externalism, the supernaturalism ficti- tious, by turning it into naturalism, bringing language, the medium of the social life, into living relation with the experi- ences of the people. Thus the respect that we have today for dialects is but a fuller development of this movement begun in the early days of the modern contract theory. And, in the second place, a literary formalism, in which a particular language lost sanctity, gave rise, not merely to a group of living national languages, but also to an extension of the idea of language 592 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY itself over the whole field of consciousness.' To this extension as belonging to modern thought reference was made above, and with peculiar significance to our present interest we find the promise, if not the actual fulfillment, of it even in Locke, to whom Professor McLaughlin aptly ascribes a "compact psychol- ogy" as well as a compact political philosophy. 2 Thus, Locke's nominalism was no mediseval scholasticism, nurtured in the clois- tered abstraction of ancient texts ; rather it was a doctrine of sensations in general as well as of words, of man as thinking or as being self-conscious in environment at large as well as in written or spoken language ; so that a doughtier advocate of naturalism than Locke himself would be hard to find. In both psychology and literature, then, formalism brought the call for a return to nature, and it is hardly necessary to add that the naturalism so arising was identical with that which we saw to emerge from the political theory of contract. But more direct than any historical analogies or than parallels of any sort is the fact that the same threefold media- tion which today language is recognized as exercising has belonged to the social contract, more narrowly conceived, that is, to any political constitution of modern times. The conditions of the quasi-contract, in language or in natural environment, have actually been consciously recognized and formulated in modern constitutions. Thus, with the rise and evolution of the contract theory, and this is to say, with the rise and evolution of constitutional governments, political life, changing from abso- lute monarchy to limited monarchy, or even to avowed democ- racy, has developed very positively along the lines (i) of personal and national individuality, (2) of national and inter- national organization, and (3) of an industrial life which has " Illustrations of the implicit, when not open, extension of the idea of language are to be found, not merely in the doctrine of evolution, in the schools for the blind and the mute, in the rise of the natural sciences and of laboratory methods, but also in the invention of elaborate notations and terminologies, particularly among the sciences, even including formal logic, and in such changes in practical affairs as that in religion from church and book to home and man, and that in civic life from no diversion for the people beyond verbal direction of all kinds to diversion also through open museums and public parks, all nature becoming a medium of man's rational life. * Op. cit., p. 467, note. ORGANIC THEORY OF SOCIETY 593 relied upon man's success in identifying himself with nature, animate and inanimate, that is to say, in identifying his activity with her processes and forces ; and these lines of development are inseparable, and mark the threefold mediation of the social contract. Above the fact that the state is natural and original, not external and artificial, was referred to as the center of the organic theory, so that these incidents of modern political evo- lution, namely individualism, organism, and industrialism, may be regarded as three determining points in the theory's circum- ference, and with the consideration of them it is my purpose to conclude the present analysis of the conception of an organic state. So, to begin with, no idea has been more central or more fundamental in the constitutions of modern Christendom than that of the equality of men, of a common human nature, of a human nature that is prior to and independent of any special political machinery, the equal man being always the natural man, man in a "state of nature;" and also, as a matter of course, no idea has been more central or more fundamental in the contract theory. Recall the doctrine of natural rights, Burke's tirade against the " paltry blurred shreds of paper about the rights of man," the Declaration of Independence, and the preamble to the constitution of the United States. Moreover, equality has been no vain sentiment, no mere idea, for it has liberated individual persons and whole peoples ; it has limited monarchs and founded democracies ; it has made international law, and was, indeed, long ago recognized, notably by Hugo de Groot in 1625, as the basis of such law; and it has turned mili- tarism and feudalism into the independence of modern labor. Indeed, in it alone we can see the threefold mediation, the individualism, the organism, and the industrialism, of the social contract. Additional analysis, however, and illustration will not be impertinent. Equality, like the theory in which we find it, is thoroughly ambiguous ; it has all the character of a fiction. One might very easily argue that if all men were literally equal monarchy would be the most natural form of political authority, since any 594 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY single individual could adequately represent all ; but this only suggests that the doctrine of equality really means the partici- pation of all in what is indeed a common life, that is, a life single and indivisible, but in what has been also a life requiring and recognizing individual differentiation. Equality, as a con- dition actual in a society whose members are living wholly as if in another world, a spiritual somewhere, where the differences of earth are as nothing, does justify monarchy ; it justifies mon- archy by heavenly sanction and worldly might ; but the modern doctrine of equality, instead of being an unworldly, spiritual apology for the differences of this earthly life, has been a demand for the mediation of differences, always affording a ground upon which men or states could agree to differ. It has meant, not monarchy, life in another world, and militarism, but community of opportunity, or right of personal or national individuality, division of labor, the organization of differences; and to argue from it, as men are doing constantly, now to extreme communalism and now to extreme individualism, may be to emphasize its fictitious character or its ambiguity, but it is not to appreciate its whole meaning. Community of property, for example, as if a corollary from the doctrine of equality, really means, not a literally common ownership of all things, separately or collectively, but an organized ownership, that is, an individual ownership which has sanction only in social utility, exactly as is implied in division of labor, free trade, and the like. And for further evidence of the significance of equality consider how the right of constitutional amendment, the pro- vision for recognition or representation of minorities, the insti- tution of equity in jurisprudence, 1 and the conception of an indivisible sovereignty, which are all necessary in a social con- tract, and no one of which is wholly neglected in any modern constitution, are at once sanctions of differentiation in the life of humanity and conclusions from the principle of equality. As has been indicated already, the rise of limited monarchies, 1 The courts in equity had their origin in the King's Bench, in the legal supremacy of the sovereign, and they have always given elasticity to the law, involving a more or less conscious appeal from legal to natural rights. ORGANIC THEORY OF SOCIETY 595 that is, of constitutional governments, and the development of an international life have been contemporaneous, and it is now conclusively evident that the bond of association has been the appeal to the equal or natural man, an appeal which has as once differentiated and organized the life of humanity. Usually we are told that the monarch is limited, because the sovereignty really belongs to his people, but this is not the whole truth. Always there are interests among the people that make them consciously subject to the life of humanity at large, so that a limited monarchy, a constitutional government, is never without positive foreign relations and responsibilities, and this is to say that consti- tutionalism really implies that all men feel themselves the subjects of one political union, as if a universal state — an implication that is, of course, all-important to the organic theory. The equal, natural man is necessarily an international man, so that, as Hugo de Groot forcibly stated the case, even in times of war between nations there are certain interests, certain relations among men, with reference to which peace continues ; for example, the rela- tions of commerce. Similarly Locke, for whom peace and society were original and natural, found an illustration of his "state of nature" in the society of nations. In the conception of the indivisibility of sovereignty, however, already mentioned as a conclusion from the doctrine of equality, and mentioned also as a bone of doubtful or ambiguous contention between Calhoun and his opponents, the idea of a universal or international state is presented in a still more striking way. To defend state rights by appeal to indivisibility was gross abuse of the idea, for with reference to political bodies as well as to lines or planes or things animate or inanimate it is not to be gainsaid that if a part is indivisible the whole must be indivisible also, or, conversely, that to isolate a part, to treat it as absolutely inde- pendent, as in secession, is at once to divide it, to destroy its own inner unity. To speak quite abstractly and symbolically, both A and not-A are divisible, that is, without unity, for both must be finite, each being limited by the other and so not self- sufficient. Only the self-sufficient is indivisible. Individuality, then, of state or of person or of thing, does in truth mean 596 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY indivisibility, but it does not and cannot mean independence or isolation ; and this, to repeat, for the simple reason that isola- tion — or negation — makes inner as well as outer division. So, to return, in the very indivisibility of sovereignty is evidence of an international state. But, further, the rise of individual constitutional governments and of an accompanying international life, the equal natural man or the indivisibility of sovereignty being the bond that associates the two, has brought with it one change that is most significant and that needs now to be pointed out. David Hume, living between 171 1 and 1776, certainly an important period in politi- cal evolution, has often been criticised for advancing the police theory of government. " We are to look upon all the vast appa- ratus of our government as having ultimately no other object or purpose than the distribution of justice, or, in other words, the support of the twelve judges. Kings and parliaments, fleets and armies, officers of the court and revenue, ambassadors, ministers and privy councilors, are all subordinate in the end to this part of administration." So writes Hume. 1 Perhaps his meaning was not all that I am disposed to make it. History, however, is always the best test of meaning, and history shows at least that Hume "builded better than he knew." Thus, taken in connec- tion with the views, notably the laissez-faire economics, of his friend and contemporary Adam Smith, or in connection with the positive political events of the period, the police theory of govern- ment was quite timely, since it meant simply that the business of government is not to make the laws, but only to know and interpret and to execute them. Under a constitutional govern- ment, as we have ourselves concluded from the inner meaning of the contract theory, upon which constitutionalism is estab- lished, the actual making of law is nature's, not man's ; and, quite apart from conclusions and inner meanings, do but consider in the actual practice of modern governments how important the bureaus of information, the records and reports of all kinds, the special committees and commissions, have become. All of these are devices by which governments show themselves only 1 Essay on the Origin of Government. ORGANIC THEORY OF SOCIETY $97 learners, not makers of law, or by which, again, they are able to formulate the law that the life of society discloses. Simply, then, because law is nature's, not man's, or man's only as man is himself natural ; or, more particularly, because in Hume's day nature's laws were so much in evidence, government appeared to Hume as peculiarly judicial and executive instead of legisla- tive. Moreover, virtually if not literally, history has justified Hume's contention, for political evolution from monarchical to democratic institutions seems to have proceeded on the principle that in a known law of nature man has had more certainty of freedom than in any whim of his own. In short, Hume's police theory of government was only his blind way of seeing democracy ; a way, however, that was hardly unnatural to the times, and that is fairly true to English political history in general, so devoted to an unconfessed democracy. What wonder that Hume's great biographer, Huxley, finds in his theories "a very remarkable example of political sagacity." But now, forgetting Hume, let us apply what he has taught us to our present purposes, and in the first place remember that we have found the "social contract" to be in effect only an abstraction or fiction for natural law, and then recognize that the now generally admitted duty of governments to know the natural law in the life of the people is one of the strongest forces in the evolution of an organic state or of an international union, and also — since conditions do make theories — in the rise and development of the organic theory. Conditions do make theories, although in a sense theories are often in advance of conditions. Theories may reveal and formulate unconscious, or, to speak more strictly, unconfessed, or only indirectly confessed, practice. For example, again with reference to national and international life, the organic theory implies, or even avows, the coextension of the territories and histories of all nations. Mathematically, 1 of course, this is 1 " Mathematically," unless one goes behind the returns of mathematics and finds in the science something more than quantities or than quantitative abstractions. Quantitatively it is absurd to speak of the coextension of parts, spatial or temporal, geographical or historical ; but qualitatively it almost goes without saying. Not stati- cally, but actively or dynamically, parts, that is, territories or histories, are coextensive, and he who runs may read this even in mathematics. Indeed, the calculus, dependent 598 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY something of a paradox, and politically it is likely to seem even an untruth ; but that such coextension is a condition, and at least a half-confessed practice as well as a theory of our time, can be shown in many ways. Thus the importance of travel and com- munication to modern life indicates that the nations are using each other's resources and even living within each other's bor- ders. Commercial and industrial exchange is further evidence ; and division of labor, also, so closely involved in these. And the familiar fact that no nation nowadays really thinks of its history as beginning with the time of its formal incorporation speaks volumes for the unity of man's political experience. The terri- tory of all nations is one territory. The history of all nations is one history. This coextension, however, of histories and territories must not be understood to mean that under the organic theory a nation is not to be limited to certain geograph- ical boundaries and in its activity to be included within a certain period of time, but — since the very geographical and historical limitations imply relation, not isolation — this instead. Mere possession of territory, whatever the bounds or mere existence through time, however long the interval, is no justification of nationality. To get and to hold territory is not to become or remain a nation. Such would, indeed, be the case, were the state really an imposition, whether through a creative compact or through any supernatural agency ; but, the state being rooted in nature, territorial and historical individuality cannot but mean unity with all that is without, that is to say, vital participation in the acquired property and the historical experience of all peoples, and only as such unity is recognized and served is an individual nation justified. Under the organic theory resources secured through possession must be used, not merely held, and used consistently with the life and experience of all. Failure in such use justifies war and even conquest. So much, then, for the individualism and organism, the on the infinitesimal, which is a negation of quantity, really means nothing else ; and the rise of the calculus contemporaneously with that of the contract theory, or, as the same thing, of constitutionalism and internationalism, was no mere accident. Even the history of mathematics is alive ; in it one can find the history of civilization, if one will but look. ORGANIC THEORY OF SOCIETY 599 nationalism and internationalism, of the organic theory, which is also the theory of the only mediative social contract. The third determining point of the theory's circumference, namely, industrialism, remains to be considered, and in this the media- tion of the social contract is to be seen as peculiarly between man and nature, although personal and national unity and inter- national unity are hardly less clearly manifest in it. Indeed, that industrialism means internationalism is one of the common- places of the day, and that it depends on personal and national competition, on personal and national individuality, is also very generally recognized ; but with peculiar significance the rise of industrialism has involved the appeal, which we have found really to underlie the contract theory, from the human to the natural. Man has appealed to nature in order to escape from himself, from the tyranny of his own nature, from despotism and militarism, believing, as was said above, that in a known law of nature he had more assurance of freedom than in any whim of his own, and in industrialism, so constantly dependent on machinery, on the mechanical application of natural resources to human ends, the appeal has been brought to earth, exemplified and progressively satisfied. Nor is machinery the only evidence of industrial man's resort to nature. In the growing demand for popular education — a demand that has required ever more and more modern language and natural science and technical train- ing for the curricula of the schools ; in the growth of religious freedom ; in the recognition of social responsibility for crime ; in the idea of property as not treasure but power, and of the right to property as springing from use, not from mere possession ; in denial of the privilege of inheritance of acquired station or acquired wealth ; in the increased means of all kinds of exchange and transportation; and, finally — to mention something already referred to in another relation — in the increasing emphasis on the purely advisory and formulative character of legislation ; in all these different ways, more or less directly associated with the passage out of militarism into industrialism, an appeal to nature is manifest ; and from them, as so many additional premises, one must conclude the unity of man and nature, so essential to the 600 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY organic theory of society. Simply it is not necessary to rely on biology for a justification of political theory, perhaps because political theory is biological in its own right. The special importance and influence of machinery in the life of society need not be dwelt upon ; but very briefly, indeed so briefly as probably to seem apocalyptic, I would suggest that the invention and the use of machinery have had a relation to the contract theory in a way which is full of interest. Thus, in the first place, as with every other term, machinery as a fact and its use as an attitude among men are much more general and fundamental in modern life than the ordinary applications of the word imply ; and, in the second place, the original social contract, in so far as only a formal principle or fiction, or, in other words, as only an indirection for the rational and essentially law- respecting character of natural man, does but give to man a thoroughly mechanicalistic view of his environment. According to the contract theory, at least as we have come to interpret it, natural man is freed from implicit subjection to any formulated law, whether in science, religion, or political life, but only to be in turn subjected to the institutions of nature. Even his own institu- tions he comes to regard naturalistically, that is, as only locally and temporally significant. This, however, is not all ; or, rather, in this lies something more. Not merely is man subject only to the mechanism of nature, but also because the law by which he judges or measures her is a merely formal principle, being, in so far as having any particular content, only a working hypothesis, the nature that rules him is a moving, which is to say, an evolv- ing or productive, mechanism, assuming ever new and more effective forms ; and man, accordingly, is a mechanic, not a soldier. Here my simple words — law only a formal principle, nature a moving and productive mechanism, and man a mechanic, not a soldier — are, indeed, almost apocalyptic, being overloaded with meaning ; politically even with the meaning of the French Revolution, which enacted so faithfully Rousseau's call for a return to nature and showed so clearly the institutions of the social life, the guillotine among others, moving productively, that is, made useful for the establishment of a new order, for the ORGANIC THEORY OF SOCIETY 6oi production of new interests and new machinery ; and industrially with the meaning of the factory, or of our industrial institutions generally, by which the controlled power of nature is working a constant instead of a violent revolution, an evolution, in human life ; but fullness of meaning, even if what is commonplace has to be overloaded, is the business of philosophy. The French Revolution, then, so true to the meaning of the contract theory and so truly only a violent symptom of a condition permeating all Christendom, has been exemplified and justified in what we know so familiarly as the "wheels of industry;" but these "wheels," let us keep in mind, since here they must refer to all the devices by which nature is made to do man's work, are politi- cal as well as industrial, being in ways that need not be enumer- ated, not only makers, but also judges and executors of our laws. The French Revolution is with us still, as industrial evo- lution. So, finally, life or movement, not established law, is the true basis of society. This, it is hardly necessary to say, is a part of the organic theory, and also it is the final meaning of the contract the- ory. Industrialism as uniting man and nature, organism or inter- nationalism as uniting man and man, and individualism as uniting each and every other part of man, have been our witnesses to the threefold mediation of the social contract, or to the roundness and completeness of the organic theory of society ; and in them all we can see, or from them all we must conclude, that society is a life, not a fixed condition ; a movement, not a creation of special time or place. Life, movement, is contract. The original social contract we have called a fiction, only a validating prin- ciple ; yet wisely, for in the light of modern thought it is but a lawyer's or historian's abstraction for something that underlies society, and that has no date or origin in history, for the fact of the life, which is the unity of society. Since the formulation of the contract theory there has been meaning in the words "social development." A. H. Lloyd. The University of Michigan.